Indian doubles legend Leander Paes says he has "tremendous respect" for Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Paes, an 18-time Grand Slam doubles champion and former doubles world No. 1, is regarded as one of the best doubles players ever.
"I have tremendous respect for the top three players in tennis in the world," Paes told India Ahead News, as quoted on Essentially Sports. At this past French Open, Nadal dominated Djokovic in the final 6-0 6-2 7-5 to claim a record 13th title at Roland Garros and equal Federer's all-time Grand Slam record of 20 Majors captured.
Paes suggested that Nadal remains a dominant force on clay and that it will be extremely hard to prevent the Spaniard from winning it all at the French Open next year. "When Federer has 20 grand slams wins and suddenly Nadal comes around and equals that.
The next conversation is if he going to better that at next year’s French Open. And it’s pretty hard to see actually whether anybody else can beat Rafa Nadal on clay at the moment. He’s so invincible, winning 13 French Open titles at Roland Garros”.
Paes acknowledges the greatness of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer
"I think the body and the mind are two amazing vehicles to keep pushing the boundaries of the human spirit, and the human body and the human mind and I think that these stalwarts in Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer are just paving the way forward from us, rather for us apart from other athletes on the planet," Paes added.
Shortly after Nadal demolished Djokovic and tied Federer's all-time Grand Slam record, the 39-year-old Swiss posted a message on his Twitter account, congratulating the Spaniard on his success. "I have always had the utmost respect for my friend Rafa as a person and as a champion.
As my greatest rival over many years, I believe we have pushed each other to become better players,” Federer wrote on Twitter. “Therefore, it is a true honour for me to congratulate him on his 20th Grand Slam victory”.
"It is especially amazing that he has now won Roland Garros an incredible 13 times, which is one of the greatest achievements in sport,” Federer wrote. “I also congratulate his team, because nobody can do this alone.
I hope 20 is just another step on the continuing journey for both of us. Well done, Rafa. You deserve it”.